Though a lot was scheduled to happen in the third episode of Supernatural's sixth season, "The Third Man," really only one thing was on my mind: the return of Castiel (Misha Collins). He has become such a scene stealer, that his return definitely felt like a long time coming, and only if the entire episode was devoted to him (and his bromance with Dean) would it be completely satisfactory.
But from the promos alone, which focused on a shirtless Sam doing chin-ups, I knew that wouldn't be the case. Needless to say, I set out to Tweet along with this episode with some preconceived notions. Despite mega technical difficulties with the site, I made it all the way through the hour. In case those difficulties kept you from catching any of my real-time commentary goodness, here is the extended version!
- Then: Dean was hot. Now: Dean is still hot. #CasIsBack
- "Come on" is right. That is disgusting, and I just finished dinner! Only cure? #CasIsBack
- This Dean/Sam stretch/work-out scene would only truly be parallel if we got to see Dean shirtless, too. It's so much nicer.#CasIsBack
- Damn, only 70mph? You CAN do better than that! Beginning to drive like a girl...or Sam ;) #CasIsBack
- No, random cop dude, it's not "idiot;" it's "idjit." And it just don't sound right unless @jumblejim is saying it! #CasIsBack
- Okay, for fear of turning out like Officer McBoil, I will definitely lay off the avocados. No "extreme allergic reactions" in my future!
- Oh but ten minutes in and the God talk begins. So much of that this week! #Glee #ModernFamily but #Supernaturalstarted the trend #CasIsBack
- Note to self: when watching #Supernatural next week, do not eat dinner (or even a snack) later than 5pm. #ew
- You tried and failed, Sam, because Castiel hates you. Do you not remember the demon blood/devil's gate/apocalypse junk?#CasIsBack
- "Dean and I do share a more profound bond." Oh dear God, there are Dean/Cas slash fans, aren't there?? #CasIsBack
- Why can you rule out Moses as a suspect? Other people from history have come to life before: see "Fallen Idols" #CasIsBack
- Castiel using airquotes is the cutest thing I've seen since Joey Tribbiani using airquotes. And somehow Cas used them right!#CasIsBack
- First time for everything. I bet someone once said that the crossroads demon never took a soul, too. But we all know how that turns out.
- Wait, Sam didn't know about angel branding? Castiel explained this all last season! WTH is going on?? #CasIsBack
- No, Dean, he's going to torture a teenager. They're not kids; they're barely human sometimes. #CasIsBack #IHateTeenagers
- Man that window scene would have been way cooler if production photos didn't leak months ago! But thanks for taking out the crap car!
- Huh. I'm becoming surprisingly desensitized to knives slicing through the boys' forearms. Even when it's my beloved Dean.#CasIsBack
- "Menage a what's French for twelve?" This guy would have been season one-five Dean's HERO! #CasIsBack
- Poor Castiel looks so crushed to learn there is no hope. I just want to kiss it and make it better! #CasIsBack
- Hottie angel has a lil David Beckham thing going! #CasIsBack
- Is it racist against Europeans if I say Sebastian reminds me of Gordon Ramsay? #CasIsBack
- Loving all of the #LifeUnexpected promos during#Supernatural (Kristoffer Polaha & Jensen Ackles are good friends, u know) #yesIwatchliveTV
- What KIND of stuff did you pick up, Sam? Another demon b*tch? #CasIsBack
- I don't know if I would care about torturing mortals in this world if I saw what went on in hell either.#neverthoughtiwoulddsidewithsam
- Sam was the king of hell, wasn't he? I mean, he went in as Lucifer. He probably got a freakin' barbecue thrown in his honor. #CasIsBack
- You canNOT end an episode of #Supernatural stating the brothers are "different." That was the initial pitch of the damn show! #CasIsBack
- I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE WHAT JENSEN HAS UP NEXT FOR US! "Weekend at Bobby's" airs October 15th at 9pm!
Closing Remarks: I don't know if it's because I was so highly anticipating the return of Collins and his perfectly dry Castiel delivery or if I was just having an "off" night, but I was left underwhelmed by "The Third Man." Parts of it I loved, including the introduction of Sebastian Roche and how he and Cas seem to have a relationship (more than Cas with any of his other "brother angels") that parallels the relationship between Dean and Sam: one is a bit of a dreamer, thinking he can have an "apple pie" life, and one has to be the voice of reason.
I also really loved the destruction of the douchemobile, the little bits with Dean still trying to keep a toe in his new-old life with Ben and Lisa, and the revelation that angels, just like demons, will buy your soul because in today's increasingly self-destructive world, that's really the only thing that means anything at all. Unfortunately, though, not even a shirtless hunter (perhaps because it was the wrong hunter, in my opinion?) could distract me from some of the inconsistencies and redundancies of this episode.
For one thing, Dean (Jensen Ackles) is not stupid. I mean, he may not have been enrolled in a big fancy college like his brother, but he has established he reads. More than just "Busty Asian Beauties." So he really shouldn't be so surprised that the Sam (Jared Padalecki) that stands before him now-- post-climbing out of hell, by the way-- isn't as soft and cuddly and into talking about their feelings as he used to be. Dean knows that when he was sent "downstairs," so to speak, he was treated as a hunter and strapped in and whipped and lashed until he couldn't take it anymore. He was being punished. But Sam went into the pit with Lucifer inhabiting his body, so he was most likely celebrated as the king of the place. How could that not give him a renewed confidence, even if it is cockiness? Because after you've been to hell, you kind of realize that things on Earth, even when they're bad, really barely even scratch the true surface of the definition of that word!
Season six of Supernatural has been advertised as a reboot of sorts pretty much ever since word came down from the network that the show would even get another episode past the final one of season five. But reiterating that the brothers are different-- even if now in different ways-- is the same old story. We know they're different; we've embraced it; that's why there are Dean Girls and Sam Girls. What we need to see now is how these boys will push forward, not how many ways they can keep bringing up the same issue(s).
We also know there's something wrong with Sam. We've known it as viewers longer than Dean has since we've gotten to spend moments (even if brief) alone with Sam. But I hate having to sit around and wait for characters within series to catch up to where we are. Because eventually all it boils down to is being hit over the head with the same imagery. Like when Sam was addicted to demon blood.
I don't really want to rehash some of the gorier moments of the show because they were seriously gross. If I hadn't eaten right before the episode they would have been gross in the best possible Ben Edlund way. So moving on, I just want to point out that for the return of Castiel, I really would have liked to see a little bit more of where he was for the past year. Well, okay, we know Cas was up in heaven, but was his vessel just cast aside or tucked into a drawer for safe-keeping or something? Because so many times when characters leave for awhile, they come back in new vessels/as new actors. I'm sure we'll be seeing Uriel again, for example, just in another human form.
...Okay, that last part was a bit nitpicky, maybe even for me. But that's how I get when I hold a show-- and a particular writer-- in such high regard!
To leave this on a positive note, though, I will say that "The Third Man" did feature a lot of the trademark one-liners that I have come to know, love, and expect, and it had some nice lighter humorous moments, too-- most of them coming from the man of the hour: Castiel. And the "Soon" tag at the end of the episode was the most positive way to go out anyway because it featured funny and fantastic moments from a variety of the upcoming episodes. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe the episode that proceeded it feels lackluster because it couldn't get the rise out of me in forty-four minutes what the minute-long hype promo did.